Facebook Takes Flak for Continued Ban of CBD Advertising

September 10, 2019 08:00:36

Despite the legalization of hemp and CBD by the 2018 Farm Bill, social media giant Facebook has continued to ban the adverts of this new industry and this has resulted in some lawsuits being filed against the platform.

Hemp-based soap maker Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap is one of the mainstream CBD companies that have tasted the rough side of Facebook’s algorithms. Representatives of Dr. Bronner’s revealed that the social media platform disabled their advertising account for “promoting hemp too much.”

It seems that while hemp and CBD are legal in the U.S., this legality doesn’t count for anything in the eyes of Facebook, and the platform continues to regard this industry as an illegal one.

Dr. Bronner’s made numerous attempts to contact Facebook and explain how marijuana differs from hemp, and the company also pointed out its previous hemp posts that had been approved by the platform but Facebook was adamant and insisted that Dr. Bronner’s advertising account would not be reactivated because it had violated the platform’s rules repeatedly.

This action comes after Facebook informed the hemp company in 2017 that adverts for hemp or marijuana advocacy are permitted on the platform, and Dr. Bronner’s is convinced that their posts are in line with hemp advocacy.

What is even more disturbing for CBD companies is the fact that CBD and other hemp derivatives aren’t mentioned in the advertising policies of Facebook. This makes the actions of the social media platform seem arbitrary and inconsistent.

The New York Chapter of NORML, a pro-cannabis advocacy group, filed a pro bono lawsuit against Facebook on behalf of a media company called Cannaramic Media, LLC. This case is now temporarily withdrawn because NORML is re-drafting the suit after it received an overwhelming response from other CBD and marijuana businesses that wanted to become co-plaintiffs with Cannaramic.

By some stroke of coincidence, the same day on which NORML went to court was also the day when the White House revealed that it was looking into reports that Facebook was engaging in censorship. The Trump Administration then asked members of the public to use an online form to submit their complaints connected to this matter.

Similar complaints of censorship have also been levelled against Google, the leading online search engine. The company bans hemp and CBD adverts but there are reports that it has been secretly beta-testing CBD adverts using a few selected companies.

It would be interesting to learn what steps CBD industry players like The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX.V: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF) and Therma Bright Inc. (TSX.V: THRM) (OTC: THRBF) are taking to help those working to compel Google and Facebook to let all legal businesses to advertise on these platforms without any undue censorship.

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